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Abercrombie & Fitch Will Sell Larger Sizes After Plus-Size Controversy

11/06/2013 at 02:29 PM ET

Abercrombie & Fitch plus sizeHannes Magerstaedt/Getty

Abercrombie & Fitch (and its CEO Mike Jeffries) drew fire this summer when anti-plus size comments Jeffries made a few years ago were picked up in the press. But despite its “cool kids only” marketing strategy, the company has been suffering this year with major drops in its stock prices and in-store sales as teens abandoned the brand in droves.

And though Jeffries refused to back down from his marketing targeted “at a particular segment of customers,” Abercrombie & Fitch announced today at an analyst briefing that they would, in fact, be expanding their size range to include sizes larger than a 10 or an L, in an attempt to stem their financial bleeding.

RELATED PHOTOS: See Channing Tatum, Jennifer Lawrence and more stars as A&F models!

In a 2006 Salon interview, Jeffries defended the company’s policy of selling only certain sizes. “In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids,” he said. “Candidly, we go after the cool kids … A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”

Now, according to Reuters, the brand will not only be selling a wider range of sizes and fits, but they will also be trying to expand their accessories and shoe lines to get more people in the door. They’re also closing their standalone Gilly Hicks lingerie stores and making changes to the stores of their sister brand, Hollister.

What do you think of Abercrombie & Fitch’s turnaround on the matter? Will you shop there with the expanded size range?

–Alex Apatoff

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Showing 97 comments

CassM on

Don’t give in and sell larger clothing. I’m a size 2 and I don’t go into plus-size stores and complain or file a lawsuit because they don’t carry my size.

Sue on

Nicole, nobody at Lane Bryant is saying that they don’t want to cater to any other body types or that they don’t want to see skinny people in their clothes, they just saw a spot in the market and went for it. I’m sure they wouldn’t be embarrassed if you wanted to purchase their clothes then alter them to fit you (though I don’t know why you would.)

mrsmass on

Why anyone would shop there is beyond me. Congrats on being able to buy overpriced tshirts and jeans, I guess…

Crystal on

I sincerely hope that consumers continue to stay away. This company is irresponsible and have only made the concession to save a sinking ship…

marcy on

Thanks, but not thanks!!

Heather on

Awwww, the A & F “cool kids” aren’t cool anymore! Boo hoo…

jessie on

little too late, i would never shop there. what he said can’t be taking back. if i did shop there my money would be supporting ideas such as his, and instead of being part of the solution i would be the problem.

Jae on

Agree, Miriam. It’s not even that they’ve seen the light, they just need to do something before they go broke because people don’t want to shop there any more. Good that they’ll be offering larger sizes, but that doesn’t make a difference to me. They’re not doing it because they realize they were wrong, they’re doing it for money to “stem their financial bleeding.” I wouldn’t shop there.

Kim on

Too little, too late. I hope their PR is reading these. My daughter is 11 and most of her wardrobe was A&F. She now, at her own choice, will not wear any of the brand. I had to give it all to goodwill. She said she didn’t want people to know she was wearing the brand. I completely support her.

Kim on

Too late. My 11 year od daughter wore tis brand all the time. She won’t wear any of it now – had to give it all to Goodwill.
This is a brand that targets tweens and teens – and to have a message like that? Hope their PR dept is reading these. We are done with the brand.

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